Friday, March 25, 2011


Recovering Windows 7 Registry Hives/Files

Due to some unfortunate events one of my friends Windows 7 registry has corrupt. I've tried repairing it using System Recovery Options / Startup Repair but with no luck. The Recovery software identifies the problem (Corrupt Registry) but is unable to repair it. I've tried to copy the files from windows32/system/config/regback to windows32/system/config still no luck (the back-up files are the same with the corrupted ones, same date, time, size --> great job windows!).

I've tried even to use System Recovery (i have several restore points) but i got this wired message: "You must enable system protection on this drive..." --> stupid error, if I haven't had enabled system protection how do I got the restore points...

Is it possible to "extract" the registry files from a file called that I found in the folder /Recovery? I understood that this is like a system recovery image... I really do not want to make a clean install unless is the last option available.


You can do In-place Upgrade to repair the system. Please launch your installation program in the system, and choose Upgrade. In general situations all programs and personal data will not be lost. However I still suggest you backup important data before upgrade.

I advise people to Export a copy of their registry when they install their system and also from time to time afterward.  The file can be huge (hundreds of megabytes), but it can be a lifesaver if you get a corrupted registry.

In Windows XP. If you make a System State backup, registry files are backed up to C:\windows\repair folder for later user. In addition, System Restore in Windows XP saves Registry files in System Volume Information directory.

In many occasions, I was able to recover Windows XP by copying registry files from System Volume Information folder to over write the registry files in C:\Windows\System32\Config folder. I was able recover Windows XP from serious issues, including bad virus that normal windows interface unusable.

But in Windows 7, I don't see that I can find any saved registry files in System Volume Information. Windows 7 allows you to boot from the Installation cd or recovery cd and restore from a previous system point. But it does not give me the flexibility of recover the System hive and/or the Software hive.

In the corporate environment, it is hard to make regular backups for client computers. I rely on Windows XP's system restore so that I can recover the system by restoring the registry hive files from System Volume Information folder. What about Windows 7? I need to understand the recovery procedures so that when problem comes we can recover the systems.

  • Look in the \windows\system32\config\regback folder.
  • There should be copies of the registry files stored inside that folder.
  • They are backed up periodically and stored in that folder.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

Subscribe to this Blog via Email :